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Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

When the Internet initially started to become mainstream in the 90’s there were so many companies that felt as if the, then called World Wide Web, was a fad and that it would go away. Hmmm, “how’d that thought process work for ya?”  Not so well for those that were reluctant in embracing the World Wide Web, now called the Internet.

I cannot fathom why many many years later there are still people in the world that have selected NOT to embrace technology as a part of their lives. I do have a little bit of tolerance for those that are not into it on a personal level but businesses that STILL have not fully embraced technology are doing themselves a disservice.

In 1995 it was perfectly fine to consider getting a website and waffle in the process of getting that done. Fast-forward eighteen years, YES eighteen year, and organizations are STILL waffling and more behind than ever.  We have moved so much beyond just having a website not that it is mind altering.  We have also moved to an era where waffling could allow your competitors to get such a big jump on your organization that you would forever be behind the eight ball.

Due to the super quick growth of the tablet and mobile industry we do not have the luxury of waffling on decisions to go full force into the new and aggressive digital marketing space. In fact, if you have a brick and mortar business, you can really no longer even view your organization as a traditional business. YOU must start to see your business as an Internet business. EVERY BUSINESS IS AN INTERNET BUSINESS now.

There is literally no such thing as traditional business anymore, ANY and ALL businesses must be online; therefore, considered Internet businesses.  With so many people accessing company websites with mobile devices it’s not even enough to have a traditional website. YOU must be mobile.

It amazes me that there are so many organizations that have not grasped the importance of an online presence. It’s been eighteen years or more since the Internet became mainstream, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.  Actually the Internet is fast becoming the most effective way to market any business.

Traditional ways of consuming media is a thing of the past, very few people read newspapers, magazine, flyers, brochures and pamphlets as a primary source of information as was once the case. If someone finds your traditional media somewhere, they search for a website or social media channel to find out more about your company using their mobile device.

So companies that are still utilizing these traditional media outlets for the majority of their business are placing themselves behind the eight ball and additionally presenting themselves to their clients as a company that is NOT on their game.

Companies must create a strong Digital Footprint for their brand and use traditional marketing as a means to DRIVE traffic to their online brand, not the other way around. Traditional media as a primary source of gaining information is DEAD, like the steel mills in Allentown. I’m not saying that all companies should stop using traditional media, but I am saying that you must go where your customer base is and that’s online and by way of mobile device.  Simply, people are using mobile devices to access information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors so that’s where you must go. People are on social media channels accessing information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors, so that’s where your organization must go.

As we decide to lead our organizations into this digital journey of social media and mobile we must realize that we can not just adapt our old “shove the company pitch in their faces” way of marketing. That does NOT work with social media and no one using a mobile device will want to scroll through an old school organizations long winded pitch about what they do, what they sell, blah blah blah, on their mobile device.

A few keys to reaching your social and mobile audiences are:

  • Mobile Website: YOU must first have a mobile website. This is not even optional anymore.  With the rate of people consuming media on the go if you opt out of having a mobile web presence you are turning your back on a huge amount of customers and YOUR competitors will be right there to grab them from you.
  • Social Media: You must have a strong social media presence AND a strategy that is socially driven. Posting your sales pitch on your channels ONLY displays that you have not fully grasped what our new social oriented world is about. Old school marketing strategy consisted of sharing prepackaged content saying all the right things to push your message without regard for the customer. Social Media is about sharing social oriented content that appeals to YOUR READER. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services. I’ll say that again. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services.

People are on mobile devices AND on social media with their mobile devices so it is imperative that ALL organizations have a presence on both.  Take a look below in the statistic on mobile usage.

As of May 2013:

  • 91% of American Adults have a cell phone
  • 56% of American Adults have a smart phone
  • 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts and calls EVEN if the phone is not ringing or vibrating.
  • 44% of people sleep with their phone next to their bed.

As of April 2012:

  • 55% of adult cell phone users use the Internet on their mobile, which has doubled in three years.
  • 31% of cell phone Internet users mostly use their mobile device for Internet, not desktops or laptops.
  • 17% of ALL adults cell phone owners use their cell ONLY for accessing the Internet.
  • 31% of cell phone uses look for health or medical information online.
  • 68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet.
68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet

68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet

With desktop computer usage on the decline, laptop usage rising and mobile usage growing at a super quick rate of speed businesses,  MUST start to see their businesses as Internet businesses. They can no longer AFFORD to ignore having a strong presence in the SOCIAL and MOBILE space.

Mobile usage is on the rise AND desktop is on the decline

Mobile usage is on the rise AND desktop is on the decline

It’s time to ADAPT your ORGANIZATIONAL strategies to the new the new mobile and social world NOT keep your same old school strategies and add digital as an afterthought. It’s a new world squirrel Adapt or die.

If you have any questions or comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent, I can be reached socially on a variety of channels. Follow me on Facebook, Google + or Twitter.

ALSO if you’d like your business to go mobile check out WordPressPressMobile.net or the WordPressMobile.net Facebook page, they are doing great things over there.

Sources:

Pew Internet http://pewinternet.org/

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#Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM.

Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM

Mobile Is The NEW Technology BOOM

I remember the 90’s, when the Internet initially entered the scene.  I was immediately very enthralled with this technology. I was immediately taken with the little computerized box that had moved beyond being used for just work related tasks to a place that held an abundance of information.   It didn’t matter that the information was mostly text based; I was just fascinated by HOW much information that I had access to within this little box, called a computer.

At the time, this information intense technology called the Word Wide. I was working at the local Library when I first got introduced to this magical world.  Once I had experienced it’s magic, I instantly developed a huge fascination for what is now called the Internet and a stronger drive to learn as much as I could. So, I was tasked with not only teaching the staff Windows 95 but with instructing Windows NT, to patrons in the newly proposed computer labs. My enthusiasm about this new Internet technology started my journey into the LOVE of technology and helped lead me to where I am now.

I recognized, even back in the mid nineties that this technology would be HUGE and would change the world. As this technology was really taking off and all of the Internet companies were booming I was finishing my Bachelors Degree in business. I was so involved with finishing school during the time, so regrettably I was not able to take an active part in this technology growth as I longed to.  Although I was not in the thick of things, only instruction, it was still so exciting to see the Internet take off.   I always did regret my inability to get involved and to take an active role in the growth of the first wave of the Internet Technology boom.

Roll the clock about 18 years ahead, and here we are. I cannot express the excitement at having an opportunity to be an active part in this era of what looks to be the NEW wave of Internet growth.

When I returned to grad school, I had no clue that the Internet Space would be heading toward the second boom. It was all a blessing, luck, great timing or some combination of all of those. Either way, it is an exciting time to be a part of the second technology boom.

Since the 1990’s we have gone from having huge monitors, towers and keyboards to having the ability to literally carrying our computer around in our pockets due to the growth of smart phone technology.  THIS is the NEW Technology boom and I am so excited that I get to be a part of it this time around.

Smart phones are almost singularly responsible for the HUGE boom in technology because they allow us to literally become mobile WHILE being connected.  The growth of smart phones has grown so much in the past few years that some say the there will soon be more mobile devices in use than there are people in the world. That is unimaginable.

With all of the growth of mobile technology businesses MUST quickly jump in this space if they want their organizations to benefit from those that are users of this technology.

The need for a mobile website should be at the forefront of every organizations digital marketing strategy. Organizations cannot be sluggish in adopting this as they were in the 90’s when they were prompted to get a traditional website. Technology is moving so much faster now than it was back then.

Take a look at the information below on HOW much growth is expected in the mobile area moving forward.

 

Global mobile data traffic grew 70 percent in 2012. Global mobile data traffic reached 885 petabytes per month at the end of 2012, up from 520 petabytes per month at the end of 2011.

Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month) was nearly twelve times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).

Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2012. Mobile video traffic was 51 percent of traffic by the end of 2012.

Mobile network connection speeds more than doubled in 2012. Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2012 was 526 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 248 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2012 was 2,064 kbps, up from 1,211 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for tablets in 2012 was 3,683 kbps, up from 2,030 kbps in 2011.

In 2012, a fourth-generation (4G) connection generated 19 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection. Although 4G connections represent only 0.9 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 14 percent of mobile data traffic.

The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generate 16 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 52 percent at the beginning of 2010. According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, mobile data traffic has evened out over the last year and is now lower than the 1:20 ratio that has been true of fixed networks for several years.

Average smartphone usage grew 81 percent in 2012. The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2012 was 342 MB per month, up from 189 MB per month in 2011.

Smartphones represented only 18 percent of total global handsets in use in 2012, but represented 92 percent of total global handset traffic. In 2012, the typical smartphone generated 50 times more mobile data traffic (342 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone (which generated only 6.8 MB per month of mobile data traffic).

Globally, 33 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi or femtocell in 2012. In 2012, 429 petabytes of mobile data traffic were offloaded onto the fixed network each month. Without offload, mobile data traffic would have grown 96 percent rather than 70 percent in 2012.

Android is now higher than iPhone levels of data use. By the end of 2012, average Android consumption exceeded average iPhone consumption in the United States and Western Europe.

In 2012, 14 percent of mobile devices and connections were potentially IPv6-capable. This estimate is based on network connection speed and OS capability.

In 2012, the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 2.5-fold to 36 million, and each tablet generated 2.4 times more traffic than the average smartphone. In 2012, mobile data traffic per tablet was 820 MB per month, compared to 342 MB per month per smartphone.

There were 161 million laptops on the mobile network in 2012, and each laptop generated 7 times more traffic than the average smartphone. Mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.5 GB per month in 2012, up 11 percent from 2.3 GB per month in 2011.

Nonsmartphone usage increased 35 percent to 6.8 MB per month in 2012, compared to 5.0 MB per month in 2011. Basic handsets still make up the vast majority of handsets on the network (82 percent).

The Mobile Network Through 2017

Mobile data traffic will reach the following milestones within the next five years.

• Monthly global mobile data traffic will surpass 10 exabytes in 2017.

• The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the world’s population in 2013.

• The average mobile connection speed will surpass 1 Mbps in 2014.

• Due to increased usage on smartphones, handsets will exceed 50 percent of mobile data traffic in 2013.

• Monthly mobile tablet traffic will surpass 1 exabyte per month in 2017.

• Tablets will exceed 10 percent of global mobile data traffic in 2015.

Global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold between 2012 and 2017. Mobile data traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 66 percent from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month by 2017.

By the end of 2013, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2017 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2017, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.6 billion).

Mobile network connection speeds will increase 7-fold by 2017. The average mobile network connection speed (526 kbps in 2012) will exceed 3.9 megabits per second (Mbps) in 2017.

In 2017, 4G will be 10 percent of connections, but 45 percent of total traffic. In 2017, a 4G connection will generate 8 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.

By 2017, 41 percent of all global mobile devices and connections could potentially be capable of connecting to an IPv6 mobile network. Over 4.2 billion devices and connections will be IPv6-capable in 2017.

Two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2017. Mobile video will increase 16-fold between 2012 and 2017, accounting for over 66 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of the forecast period.

Mobile-connected tablets will generate more traffic in 2017 than the entire global mobile network in 2012. The amount of mobile data traffic generated by tablets in 2017 (1.3 exabytes per month) will be 1.5 times higher than the total amount of global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month).

The average smartphone will generate 2.7 GB of traffic per month in 2017, an 8-fold increase over the 2012 average of 342 MB per month. Aggregate smartphone traffic in 2017 will be 19 times greater than it is today, with a CAGR of 81 percent.

By 2017, almost 21 exabytes of mobile data traffic will be offloaded to the fixed network by means of Wi-Fi devices and femtocells each month. Without Wi-Fi and femtocell offload, total mobile data traffic would grow at a CAGR of 74 percent between 2012 and 2017 (16-fold growth), instead of the projected CAGR of 66 percent (13-fold growth).

The Middle East and Africa will have the strongest mobile data traffic growth of any region at 77 percent CAGR. This region will be followed by Asia Pacific at 76 percent and Latin America at 67 percent.

Via  Cisco

So needless to say I think it’s time to get mobile people!  There are a variety of options available when considering a mobile website, that are great for corporate business. One of the options that I immediately wanted to explore was a mobile website powered by WordPress after all WordPress is one of the most powerful CMS platforms available. After being a WordPress hold out for so long, now that I am there I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to consider other options because this platform fits my business needs.

So in sticking with my need to go with WordPress I started exploring options for Mobile Templates that I could use for WordPress.  At first I was only able to find a variety of plugins that would convert my WordPress site to a mobile ready site. The Plugins work fine if you page doesn’t have a lot of pages and submenus. If it does, the plugins make your page look goofy. YES, goofy is a technical term.

I then took a look at the responsive themes; they were fine but still didn’t suit my needs because I didn’t want to change my entire brand to go with a new theme. I wanted a mobile site that would match or closely match my current website.

Finding a fully functional Template built exclusively for mobile practically nonexistent, until I recently found a small company that ONLY Creates WordPress Templates for MOBILE.  Excited I am! So I was able to throw up a fully functional WordPress Mobile website based on the look of my site. The great thing about it is that everything that I can do formy full website can be done for my mobile site. Guess WHAT? WIN!

So whatever route you decide to take in the mobile strategy of your business, make sure you get started right away!

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The 12 Essential #WordPress Plugins That EVERY #BLOGGER NEEDS

I am truly  a reformed WordPress basher and I fully admit that I was totally wrong. I use WordPress.com for this blog and WordPress.org for a few additional blogs that I write for.  I have tried practically every blogging platform available, Posterous, Blogger and Tumblr ( I still use Tumblr and I love this platform as well).  I have found WordPress to be an amazing platform and this is primarily due to the abundance of plugins available.

  1. Google AnalyticatorAny an all online presences need analytics!  If you create a blog or website you really need to have the ability to monitor the effectiveness of your work.  The Google Analyticator does just that.
  2. GooglyzerIs a plugin that I just started using and I really love it. This plugin allows you to pull Google Analytics from Google right into a WordPress Dashbord. This is a great time saver!
  3. My Category Order: As you know the listing for Category is in a default order but this plugin allows you to rearrange the order according to your needs.
  4. My Link OrderThis is the same as My Category Order except it allows you to change the order of your links.
  5. My Page Order: I absolutely LOVE my page order because like the above two plug ins, My Page Order allows you to change the order of your WordPress Pages.
  6. Pinterest Pinboard Widget: Everyone loves Pinterest and we all want to show off our Pin Boards. This Plugin allows you to do just that.  You can select how many columns and rows that you’d like to display.
  7. Trackable Social Share Icons: Everyone uses social media icons to share their content, but as a lover of Analytics I love this plugin because it allows you to attach analytics to social sharing icons.
  8. Ultimate TinyMCEI absolutely LOVE this plugin!  This tiny, yet very powerful plug in allows you to add an amazing editing ability to your blog posts.  It’s like a little HTML Editor build right into WordPress and this is one plugin that I can’t do without!
  9. Tweet old post: Tweet Old Posts allows you to share previously created blog posts with your Twitter followers.
  10. TumblrizeAllows you to autopost to Tumblr.
  11. wpSUBpages RedirectThis is another favorite! This plugin allows you to redirect WordPress Pages to other page, subpages or URL’s
  12. Twitter Badge Widget: This simple but wonderful plugin allows you to add your tweets to your blog.

One of the most powerful thing about a WordPress blog is its ability to create an easy avenue in which to add different functionality as needed. The plugins are on of the things that make this platform so attractive to bloggers.  The amazing array of plugins created by these amazing developers have really propel this platform to the forefront and it’s what truly makes WordPress the ROCKSTAR of blogging platforms.

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Three Steps To Finding Your Blogging Voice

FindingYourBlogVoice

 

I honestly never thought I would be a blogger and I think this was due to a bit of writer burn out after completing an accelerated Masters Degree in Internet Marketing in one year.  Since the degree program was totally online, so fast pace and very writing intense I never thought I would want to write again after completing the program.   However I’ve found that it has not been the case and that it is one of the things that I enjoy most about being an Internet Marketer. There are so many things to love about being a part of this changing Internet Marketing industry and blogging has moved to one of the top spots on the list of things to love, especially after finding my blogging voice so to speak.

 

I have been blogging now for about two years, but I have just recently found my blogging voice. I think an important part of enjoying the blog process is the ability to find your voice because once you do, you then are able to build a great audience and take so much more pleasure from writing.  The process for me has been mentally moving beyond what I think people want to hear to a combination of what I want to say and what needs to be said.  This allows me to bring the very “keep it real” philosophy that I have in my off line life, to my blog.

 

I am not an extremely talkative person offline, although I do speak my mind and talk when I have something to say of importance.  So, when I decided to incorporate more of my own personality into my writing style it has really helped with the ability to continue the flow of conversation going, by way of blog post.  Ultimately it has allowed me to have an ongoing source of topics that I use for blog posts.

 

So, the take away when developing a blogging strategy keep these three things in mind when trying to find your blogging voice:

  • Be Yourself
  • Be inspired by situations that happen in your daily life
  • Be playful and have fun!

 

Cheers!

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3 Things That YOUR #SocialMedia Marketer WILL NOT do.

3Things

There’s a lot of misconceptions about Internet Marketers and Social Media Experts and that is primarily due to people not really having a firm understanding of the industry. This industry is still growing and those that have been in technology related fields although they may be experts, they are still learning.   Social Media in particular as we are experiencing it now is still pretty new, hence we all are getting acclimated to viral videos, word of mouth marketing, content sharing and more.

The newness of this industry, has really caused a bit of a panic and unrealistic expectation with organizations in regard to Social Media Marketers and Internet Marketers.  Since it is relatively new and still evolving every day we are all still learning, growing and evolving with the industry.

Social Media Marketing, New Media Marketers and Internet Marketers specialize in marketing YOUR company by way of online strategies.

They Will NOT

  • Know everything about your particular industry:  No Social Media Marketer will be 100% versed on every industry, just as traditional marketers are not. They are marketers not magicians so they will perform research about your company, clients, demographics, competitors etc.  <sidenote> I do think the Social Media Gurus, may be versed on every industry, because they are Gurus and have 10 plus years of social media experience. :-P </sidenote>  Seriously though, would you rather a person be a master of your industry or a master of their industry and have the talent to MARKET your industry using the most cutting edge online techniques?  I’m pretty sure most people have current employees that have mastered their organization, that doesn’t help with the need to hire someone to USE the information that they’ve mastered about social media to help THE ORGANIZATION. I know the answer, so this is rhetorical.
  • Be your own personal Miracle worker: Social Media is not a magic bullet, so if there are organizational issues, social media or any kind of marketing for that matter, will probably not rescue it.
  • Use Old School Marketing Techniques: Many companies are interested in being a part of the social media revolution, yet have not given up their old ways of doing business or altered their technique since 1965. Most Internet Marketers or Social Media experts will not spam your marketing message across social media channels. This would do damage to their reputation as a legitimate Internet Marketer.

There is so much misinformation about social media which is causing a bit of mass hysteria, especially in the more old school traditional workplaces. We all have to take a deep breath, think clearly and honestly stop TRIPPING.

When searching for a person to handle your companies Internet Marketing and or Social Media needs you should search for some essential qualifications.

They Should:

  • Have a firm grasp of Social Media Optimization:   Working with Facebook and Twitter is NOT enough because although these two channels are huge, they are not the ONLY social media channels needed to optimize your social media strategy. Optimizing your social media channels should be based on your individual company needs and the marketer hired should know how to analyze those needs and proceed accordingly
  • Have the ability to create a social media strategy: This strategy should be geared toward your individual company needs. All strategies don’t work for every company. Most companies have individual needs and the marketer hired should have the ability to create a custom strategy based on these needs.
  • A strong online brand for themselves:  That is  indication of the kind of strategy that they can create for you. You should ALWAYS Google the people that you are interested in hiring. If they DO NOT have a strong presence for their brand they may not have the ability to create a strong brand for your organization either.
  • Preferably have some formal education: Formal education or extensive training in Internet Marketing Strategies, is a definite plus because it helps with social media strategy creation. Formal education in the way of some kind of Internet Marketing classes, training or comprehensive on the job training will allow the marketer to be more strategic in planning your social media strategy.
  • Writing Skills: A huge part of an effective social media strategy is the ability to blog.  I can not express how important blogging is to any successful social media strategy. It allows brand building, engagement opportunities and serious Google Juice.

Some things that are a definite plus

  • Video Creation: YouTube is huge and the #2 utilized search platform. If you marketer can create video, thats For The Win.
  • Slide Show Creation: Slide shows are awesome, brand building and great for increasing brand exposure.
  • SEO: Should be an essential part of every social media strategy and could be very powerful if used in conjunction with an effective social media optimization strategy.
  • Analytics: If you create an online presence you should have the ability to monitor its effectiveness. Analytics is an essential part of any social media and or online strategy, although some do not recognize or utilize it.
  • Adsense: If you have a blog you want to monetize it.
  • Affiliate Marketing:  Monetize again.
  • Photo Editing: Photo editing even just basics are a great addition, it allows creation of original and eye catching graphics for blogs and social media posts.
  • WordPress: Is THE blogging platform of choice and gives blogs more Google juice than any other blog platform than I’ve worked with and I’ve worked with them all.

I’m sure these things will change especially since things are continuing to evolve and we are all continuing to grow and learn in this industry. However, this is a great start..

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2012: How New Media Works, THE 12 Social Media Platforms Explained

2012
I was having a discussion with Michael Q Todd about Social Media and platforms that are really rocking. It was a very informal, laid back but very informative discussion but these 12 platforms that have been rockin’ for me. After working to get my social media strategy where I want it, this is what i’ve come up with.

12 Platforms you should check out for 2012:  

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Facebook 

There are a lot of people that have issues with Facebook for whatever reason. STOP TRIPPIN’ people! Yeah I said it. Facebook, love it or hate it but they have around 800 million users and they are still growing. This is HUGE for your ability to build your brand. It’s not really about love or hate, frankly it’s about business, brand exposure and Cha-ching!

Facebook has now created an option to Subscribe. This is HUGE for people that use their personal Facebook page for networking, like me. This allows people that follow you on other channels to follow you on your Facebook personal page without becoming your friend. Remember if you opt to allow people to subscribe to your updates, remember to provide some information that would appeal to them and use the public option to post.

Facebook is a driving force behind social media and if you are smart you will take advantage of this to propel your brand. The new revamped Facebook Timeline with ability to offer people the opportunity to subscribe to your updates is HUGE for your brand. Add the power of the Facebook Business Page and that makes a power combination.

When you scoff at Facebook, think about which comparable platforms offer you the ability to reach up to 800 million people.  So if you have jumped off the Facebook bandwagon, I suggest jumping back on. 800 million people, there’s nothing to think about, just do it.
Twitter  

Twitter offers a HUGE opportunity to reach out to an unlimited amount of people, with 140 characters.  Things to keep in mind, don’t spam, don’t shove your marketing message and or sales pitch down the throats of your followers. They don’t care what your selling. REALLY. Twitter is about sharing content that is of value to your followers, NOT about you, your message and what you’re selling. The plus is that providing great content and valuable information will put you in a position to be viewed as an authority within your subject area. This will increase your chances of turning followers into potential clients, clients and or people to collaborate with.  Twitter is HUGE, use it.

Google +

Is the new kid on the block and is really being minimized by many. This is a platform that should be taken serious if nothing more than realizing that Google RAWKS. The Internet would NOT be the same if Google wasn’t a huge player. Google+ is not just a social media platform but a Game changer.  Google + will change the Internet as we know it like they did with the introduction of Google and the domination of the Internet since then. Google will take every platform that they own or that they plan to own and add it to Google+ to make it ROCK. BELIEVE IT! Google+ is the Game changer because it is the beginning of Social Search. Grab a Google+ Page for your business as well. Pay attention peeps.

Scoop.it

Curation is a huge part of the future of the Internet, primarily because there is an abundance or over abundance of information floating about on the millions of social media channels. People are quite literally overwhelmed by the amount of information that is being chucked at them. Curationallows the curator to compile topics of interest by weeding through the information, finding what’s of relevance to their demographic of followers and supply that information to their followers. This is what Scoop.it is all about and you need to check it out.

Image representing Tumblr as depicted in Crunc...

Tumblr

Is an extremely social media oriented blogging platform that is easy to share, easy to follow and extremely popular. I use my Tumblr account everyday. Tumblr is great for supplying small segments of information, pictures and quotes to people that are interested in grabbing quick information.

WordPress

Is one of the most powerful blogging platforms available now. I am a reformed WordPress basher that really didn’t get the big hoopla about WordPress until I used it myself. I was using Posterous as my primary blog platform of choice, they changed their format and IMHO Jumped the Shark. So, I was almost forced to look at the only blogging platform that I hadn’t tried  and that was WordPress.  I like the functionality of the free platform and I really REALLY love the self hosted WordPress.org option.  Since WordPress added the option to subscribe for most of the blogs, they are now the best in my book.  I use the Free format for everyday, uncomplicated blogging and the self hosted format for my more involved blogging needs.

StumbleUpon

Image representing StumbleUpon as depicted in ...

Is one of the most underutilized and underused formats in the social media game. Stumbleupon will give some serious juice to your content. I have included it as a sharing option on my blogs, I’ve added it to my Chrome Plugin and I Stumble every blog that I +1 and share. Use it!

Commun.it

Is one of the BEST Twitter management tools that I’ve ever used. I am usually not one for Twitter management tools;  However, I really LOVE Commun.it.  This platforms helps you to focus on people that are your most engaged members, supporters and influences. That’s huge because it allows you to know who is really in touch with your brand so you can actively engage with them. This is “For The Win” for creating an active and engaged Twitter following.  Commun.it also gives you an indication of those that have unfollowed you and those that you should consider unfollowing based on lack of engagement. This is a must in your arsenal for 2012. It is still in Beta and by invite only so if you want, grab INVITES

Empire Avenue

Is first and foremost a great way to meet some really AMAZING people, not just any people but the Social Media Elite ( my opinion) There are so many people in technology and social media related fields playing this social media stock market game.

What’s good about Empire Avenue is that it numerically rates your social media activity by  platform and assigns a dividend (div) amount based on how engaging your content is. The dividend is payed out daily to people that buy your shares, sort of like dividends in real stock market.

You can register as an individual or as a company. After you register, connect your social media channels and watch your share price and divs go up. There is a big drive to buy n00bs, because players have an opportunity to buy shares at a low price.

This game is not for the faint of heart. If you content sucks, your divs will suck and people unload your shares. The good thing is that share price and divs can give you an indication of things in your social media strategy that you may need to work on.  What’s more important than the gaming aspect, is that Empire Avenue offers players the opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most amazing, tech savvy people that they will ever meet.   Join, then chase down the Facebook Groups, Social Empire, Team Zen,  XBar and Eav Winners. Join the groups, learn the game and meet the amazing people behind the game.

Twyla

I am still learning a lot about Twyla but this is one of the platforms that I will be using more. One of the HUGE things about Twyla that I like is the POWER TWEET. It allows you to create the most powerful tweet ever.  Twylah is still in Beta so you have to ask for invites.

Pinterest

Is Image driven Google juice. It is the “New” Hot Social Media Platform, although I hear it’s been around for a while. Either way everyone is jumping on it, primarily because people really love pics and that is the driving force behind Pinterest. It allows you to grab pics from online sources, Flickr, Urls and uploaded images and add to your boards. People can then share those images by repinning them. You can also embed the images, which is really cool. I just started using this and I really like it.

Triberr 

Is the ultimate source of Blog Juice! One of the things about blogging is the ability to get your content out there, shared, Tweeted etc. You can have the greatest blog out in the world with the most wonderful content but if no one reads it,  the content is almost irrelevant. Triberr is the key  to getting readers for your blog content.

Triberr allows a user to create a Tribe and add members to their tribe. All tribe members can add an RSS of their blog which then gives the tribe members an opportunity to share  this content with their Twitter followers.  This is huge for brand awareness, blog traffic, subscribers and potentially for meeting clients and collaborators.

When a person is invited to a Tribe they can then create a new Tribe of their own and invite members. Triberr is still in beta so you will need an invite, which are not really spread around like other Beta platforms. This is primarily because to offer an invite to Triberr is inviting that person into your Tribe.

The key to being successful with Triberr is being very selective about who you invite to your Tribe and careful about Tribes that you join. I find that it is best to have similar and or complementary content as the people in your Tribe.  Also, make sure any Tribe that you join have members that are willing to share your content with their Twitter followers as you are willing to share with yours. I’ve learned these things the hard way so I am very selective about Tribes that I join.  If you join a Tribe that does not meet your expectations there, just bounce. I would, I have and would do so again.

OK, those are my 12 things for 2012. Rock on!

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2012 Beginners Internet Marketing Guide

Internet Marketing 2012

 

During the holidays and through out the year I’ve encountered many companies that have amazing products to offer but are totally stuck in a time warp, as in how they really need to be marketing their amazing products and services. A company can have the most amazing, life altering product and or service to offer but if NO ONE knows about these services and products it’s irrelevant.

Technology has surpassed the time when a business could advertise a company in a small local free digest, take orders by telephone at your location or office. As a tech savvy society it is imperative that our companies grow with technology and not continue to hold on to old ways, now matter how comfortable.   We have also moved past the times when it was OK, to just have a website.  Needless to say, if you don’t even have a website, there is quite a bit of catching up to do.

I know that getting started if you are not on board with technology can seem like a daunting task.   So  a few steps that you can take to get on board with Internet Marketing in 2012.

  • Blog: A blog can be used in instead of a website or it can use do compliment a traditional website.  The most amazing thing about a blog is that it is serious GOOGLE JUICE, which means the format of blog can act to get pretty good exposure and increase Google ranking.  Blogs, as opposed to websites offer the ability to provide an ongoing flow of new content. That is of course depending on how much you post new content to a blog. The continuous posting of new and fresh content is one of the things that Google Bots search for on any web presence. So if you don’t have a blog, what are you waiting for start blogging.   I have have used practically every blogging format available, so I say go straight for the best and that’s WordPress. It is a great format and Google LOVES WordPress.  WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress and is really pretty easy to get started. Then there is the full blow content management system of WordPress.org, which would be hosted by you.   Take a look at the Tutorial below, it will give you some tips on WordPress.  It is a recorded webinar so it is a little long but it will give you everything needed to get started.
  • Facebook Personal Page: I started my personal Facebook page as a way to connect with friends and family but it really has become a huge tool for networking. So now I use it 85% for networking 15% for connecting for friends and family. Facebook personal pages are for personal /networking use and there are Facebook Business Pages used to set up your business presence.  You need a Facebook personal page before you can set up a page for your business.
  • Facebook Business Page: Is a HUGE part of any Internet Marketing Strategy.  A Facebook Business Page is a GREAT compliment to your Blog. The page allows you an avenue to share your blog posts and additional information  with people that follow your page.  Also, people tend to search out Facebook Business pages sometimes in lieu of a traditional website, to find out more information about your company. So by NOT having a Facebook Business Page for your company you could potentially miss out on an opportunity to share information about your companies products and services. So if you don’t have a Facebook Business Page its very important to your company to capitalize on this FREE platform to promote your company. Remember, potential customers could be searching for your company on Facebook, so you want to make sure they are able to find you! So Create your Facebook Page today!
  • Twitter:  Is an often overlooked resource in creating a new social media strategy. Twitter is a great way to gain company exposure, increase brand awareness and potentially sales leads for your company.  You can also share blog posts by way of Twitter. Keep in mind that Twitter is NOT an avenue to shove your message at followers but more of an avenue to engage and share information that is of value to your followers. Twitter rocks and you should definitely get started with utilizing this powerful platform .
  • Google+ Profile:  Is a new social media platform to share content and interact with people.  Although it’s still new, the potential is huge as is any Google product or service.  As an early adopter of social media platforms I strongly encourage getting acclimated to this platform by setting up a profile.
  • Google+ Pages:  Pages are also really new but the potential is huge as I’m sure Google has huge plans for this new platform that is gaining popularity. One of the things that is really powerful about Google+ is that it’s a Google product and Google is known to really have exceptional service. Google+ is now starting to integrate posts from personal and pages in search results. So Google+ will have a huge effect on SEO.
As usual, I welcome any and all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent.
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Blog Traffic, Think Tribe ..Go #Triberr

BlogJuice

 

When I originally started blogging it was almost a forced effort on my part. I had just finished Grad School in one year and the thought of writing anything longer than my name was really like WTH. However I knew that blogging would have to play a huge role in my marketing strategy.  As I started writing, I soon realized that not only was this a part of my strategy but,  I really LOVED blogging.

I got started with Blogger, then ventured to Posterous and then grabbed a Tumblr. So I’ve pretty much had a trial run on every popular blogging platform. A few months ago Posterous, which was my primary blogging format after trying the others, jumped the shark. Ok, maybe Posterous did not jump the shark but they no longer fulfilled my blogging needs due to a format change. So with the encouragement from my friend Tami at AriesGDIM,  I moved everything to WordPress. Since I was a bit of a WordPress basher initially, this was a big move for me and I am so happy that I made the move.   I have been very happy with my transition to WordPress and I am using WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Well, now here I am happy to blogging, excited about my new format but I lost most of my followers due to the transition from Posterous to WordPress. What to do, what to do?  Well along comes Michael Q Todd with an invite to Triberr. What the heck is a Triberr, was my immediate thought.  I did a bit of investigating, then jumped right in because it was exactly what I needed for my new WordPress blogs.

I had an opportunity to join a few other Tribes on Triberr but some of those did not work out so well.  One of the most important things about going with a tribe is to make sure the content is a good fit for your marketing strategy and Twitter followers.  

So, what is Triberr you ask? Triberr is quite simply Blog Juice because the platform allows you to get an amazing amount of blog traffic due to joining a Tribe of bloggers that share your content with their Twitter followers.  You also share their blog content with your Twitter followers. This can be an amazing boost for your blog, as well as allowing you to connect with amazing bloggers. Ultimately it can really be a win – win for everyone in a Tribe if  the right content is flowing through the Tribe.

I am a member of two wonderful Tribes, I love the content that flows through the Tribes and I am happy with the traffic that my blog has received.

A few things that you should consider when selecting a Tribe is:

  • Make sure the content that you share is similar to your content
  • Make sure the content is complementary to your style
  • Make sure the content would be of interest to your Twitter followers

Also if you join a Tribe and the content is not to your satisfaction,  you can always leave that Tribe. It’s NOT The Fugitive, you will NOT blow up. Just write the person that invited you a short note explaining why you left and then bounce. :-)

In a parting note, remember that once you join Triberr you can create a Tribe of your own, to extend your Blog Juice even farther.  Happy Blogging!

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Add Some #Google Juice To Your Static Website

Google Juice
Traditional static websites are very 90′s, this is primarily due to so much growth in technology. There are mobile sites, Social Media and Blogs, all of which are huge competition for traditional static websites. I say static because a traditional website is not usually updated on a regular basis, which means the content is static.

A lot of people have huge, fancy web presences with all sorts of bells and whistles, so I would never suggest scrapping a site that more than likely cost quite a few bucks to create.  That is unless you had plans to revamp anyway.   If you are revamping or creating a new site I would say go right for the WordPress Blog.  If not I would suggest adding a blog to your current site.

Google Juice

Image by Johannes P Osterhoff via Flickr

Blogs are a huge way to offer dynamic, rich, new and fresh content to any web presence. Even if you have a static website you can create a blog and link that into the navigation of your website. You could also link your website into the navigation of blog. The great thing about creation of a blog is that is adds Google Juice to your website.  When I say Google Juice I mean providing  fresh content to your website by way of blog.

There are a wide variety of options when you go with blog creation, but if you select to integrate the blog into your website by way of link in navigation you should consider trying to match the look of your blog as close as you can. One of the best options for this would be a self hosted WordPress blog. Once you have your blog up and running add social elements to your blog, Facebook widget, Twitter feed, Flickr feed  and social media sharing options.

Fresh content by way of blog and social media is rumored to be the new SEO, due to the changes that were recently make with Google’s implementation of Panda.

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. Feel free to leave comments here or catch up to me on Twitter, Facebook and or Google+ 

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A Blog is NOT Optional: Whatcha’ waiting for? Start #Blogging.

Blog

At one time it was enough to have a website, and in actuality that was not so long ago.  The goal of a traditional website was to provide an avenue in which customers and potential customers could visit to get a feel for your company. It is a bit of a ” Let me check them out…” but on a business level.  So mostly everyone now has a website although I recently discovered a company or two that DID not have a website. I can’t even imagine, however that is totally another blog post.

 

The first wave of internet, Web 1.0  had everyone create websites, however we are now way past just having a website because we are now in a much more socially engaged world.   Web 2.0, or the social web is an era that is much more social, engaged  and very interested in fresh new content, which surpasses the capabilities of traditional websites.  This has pushed us away from a static website which usually is not regularly updated to provide content fresh enough for the new more engaged Web 2.0 users.  So the need for a blog which provides new, fresh and more engaging content to readers sometimes on a daily basis is not optional but really almost required at this point.

 

The demand of the more socially engaged readers are more in tuned to companies and organizations that they select to do business with. Not only do they want to check out a company Facebook page but they also want to check out the company blog. They want to feel as if they are getting to know the people behind the company that they are doing business with. This is one of the reasons that blogs are so popular and are a necessity anymore.

 

In addition to providing content for readers, blogs allow companies to supply an ongoing source of fresh content to Google by way of blog post. This makes the Google Bots happy, feeds the new Google Panda, acts to increase search ranking and provides ongoing brand recognition to customers.  This is a Win – Win scenario for companies! So I say businesses, start blogging because it is no longer optional it is a necessity. Trust me, your competitors are blogging!

 

As usual, I welcome comments or questions, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. So feel free to leave a comment here, catch me on Twitter, My Facbook Page  or Google+ page.

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